A bus crash killed 24 people in South Africa on Friday.
Authorities stated that the bus carrying dozens of people drove off the road and flipped over. The driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle near Cape Town.
Those died in the crash include 22 females and two males. Two children were counted among the victims. However, it’s currently believed this number will rise.
The double-decker bus hit a mountain after it veered off the road. Although authorities stated that 24 people died during the wreck, it’s unclear how many people were inside the vehicle during the crash.
“We are recovering more bodies and the death toll may rise,” police traffic spokesman Kenny Africa told Reuters on Friday.
A rescue team was called to the scene of the bus crash to lift the vehicle off the ground with crane. Crews had to cut away part of the bus’ bodywork to reach the people trapped underneath.
Eight people were critically injured and 14 others were seriously wounded during the crash. Around 40 other people sustained minor injuries. The police traffic spokesman said 23 people died at the scene of the crash while another passed away at the hospital.
“A lot of the passengers were trapped under the bus, we had to use a huge crane to lift the bus to get the passengers out underneath,” Kenny Africa explained. “[The driver] collided with the mountainside so they had to cut some of the body parts of the bus to free the people that were trapped inside.”
Authorities believe the bus crash that killed 24 people was caused when the driver attempted to brake in a sandy lane. This caused the vehicle to veer off the road and into the side of the mountain.
The people in the bus were returning home from a church gathering in eastern Mpumalanga. Transport MEC Robin Carlise said steps need to be taken to improve the safety of local roadways.
“Any losses on our roads are a tragedy — an accident of this magnitude is nothing less than heart-breaking,” he explained. “But despite my shock and real sense of grief let me make one thing absolutely clear — today simply doubles my resolve to make our roads safer.”
Authorities are still investigating the bus crash that killed 24 people.